By Bethaney Lee
Ocean Campus’ Gender Diversity Project (GDP) celebrated this semester when City College announced students could submit a form for preferred name usage but Club President, Zel Komula, and Health Education Program Manager, Andrew Ciscel, said the club still discusses pressing issues every Thursday at 11 a.m. in the Multi-Use Building (MUB).
“Most high schools and colleges in the state have the preferred name option. Ultimately, City College was a little behind,” Komula said.
The preferred name victory was brought on by Jay Field, City College Chief Technology Officer, who helped configure City College technology to reflect preferred name options on class roll sheets, Web4 and Canvas; a feat Ciscel described as “complex customization.”
“There is all this programing language written prior that was written for different places that flow information from the banner into our Web4 and class rosters. Because the information was sourced so long ago by people no longer employed, Jay Field has had to untangle the mess,” Ciscel said.
To register a preferred name students must fill out a paper form and submit it to the Office of Admissions and Records. The Web4 database still requires an update which Ciscel said is due by the end of the year and will replace this process. By next year Ciscel said students should be able to click the preferred name option when filling out admission forms online.
Komula and Ciscel report that students are not without their complaints about the change and though excited for the campus’s progressive step forward, students are curious as to why school identification cards still bare given names versus preferred ones.
While no current solution exists for these cards, Ciscel said the problem seems to be centralized around liability for the college.
“I believe they are worried that someone can abuse it. Perhaps set up a preferred name and cash a check using it as a primary source of identification. So I think some of the folks are just worried, and as far as I know, this is why the ID’s don’t reflect preferred names,” Ciscel said.
GENDER NEUTRAL BATHROOMS
Identification cards were not the only concerns Komula and Ciscel shared on behalf of the GDP.
An audit map of the gender-neutral bathrooms on all City College campuses was prepared by Instructor Bob Davis and highlighted glaring concerns for students.
The document provided a chart of 11 locations on eight City College campuses, including Ocean Campus, where gender-neutral restrooms are required placement.
Section 4 of the San Francisco Police ordinance file (#160024) states what the all-gender toilet facilities in buildings on city-owned or leased land must adhere to. “If there are five or more toilet facilities in the building that are designed for use by multiple occupants, at least one such facility in the building shall be identified as all-gender by the recognized California geometric symbol for such facilities so long as the minimum number of separate male and female toilet facilities required by Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations is maintained.”
The ordinance states that management authority over the building will decide which toilet facilities are designated and is also clear that the restrooms must be identified and accessible.
Students in the GDP aided in the audit by recording exact locations and notes on each bathroom. Ocean Campus has several gender-neutral bathrooms across the campus but Ciscel said the bathroom designated on the third floor of the MUB is out of order and others fail to be opened for access some days.
“I already requested the work order. It has been out since last semester and remains locked, so I can’t even see what the problem is. But I was told there is only one plumber for all of the campuses and he is backlogged. So I’m not really sure how quick it will get resolved,” Ciscel said.
On three City College campuses students must speak with a receptionist, only available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to be provided with a key for access to a gender-neutral bathroom. This system renders the bathroom facilities inaccessible after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and for the entirety of Saturday and Sunday.